On Thursday, June 27th our group got the opportunity to visit POSCO Steel, our assigned company for our trip to South Korea. We visited their corporate office and their Pohang Steel Works. Upon arrival at POSCO Steel we were given a tour of the POSCO museum. This Museum tracks their history and success from the start of their company in 1968. One of the most amazing things we learned was why they started. After the Korean War the South Korean economy was struggling and the country needed to build themselves back up. The founder of POSCO set out to create a steel work that would launch South Korean into the industrial age. The museum held a small model of a furnace. After walking inside we watched a video to commemorate the first groundbreaking of the steel mill.
Throughout the museum we saw the original office of POSCO Steel, interactive models of both of their steel mills located in South Korea, various movies on the steel making process, and a commemorative wall of all of POSCO’s current employees. This wall is updated every two years with tiny head shots of the POSCO employees located all around the world. The figure spans the length of an entire wall of the museum. We were all amazed at this and thought it was a great way to show appreciation of their employees and prove they are valued by their company.
After leaving the museum we were all gathered in the lobby awaiting the bus that would take us to the POSCO factory. We saw what looked like a giant blue egg sitting in the lobby. One of the POSCO employees explained to us that it was a speaker and that we should lay our heads on the egg and listen. We all felt a little silly doing this, but sure enough you could hear noise coming from inside. This noise was the sounds of making steel at their factory. We looked at it in amazement and thought it was a great way to engage visitors of the museum and a fun way to show they technology that can be used today.
After the visit to the museum we headed off to the POSCO factory. We weren’t allowed to take any photos while inside for safety reasons. Our group walked along the top of the factory during the final stage of the steel production. You were able to feel the heads from the steel as it came into the factory and was run under water in order to cool it off. After the steel was cooled off it was rolled into giant coils that would then be packaged and send out to buyers. When we were on the bus leaving the factory a few trucks drove by us that held the molten ore. The trucks were hot that we could feel the heat through the bus.
Visiting POSCO Steel was one of our highlights of the trip. It was an amazing opportunity to be able to learn about the beginning of the steel industry in South Korea and to get a chance to see how the steel is made. Now when I eat lunch in the cafeteria or look out in the city I see a whole new place. I had never stopped to think how much steel we use in our everyday lives before this trip.
-Emily, Chen, Julio